Back in June I mentioned how Coventry was running the worlds first city-wide Jam to open up a conversation with residents and business to find innovative ways to make the city smarter.
A month on and 2,000 posts later, IBM and Coventry are teaming up to make the ideas raised in CovJam real and transforming Coventry over the next 30 years.
Martin Reeves, Chief Executive of Coventry City Council explained:
“The IBM Jam brought out practical ideas. People know that we can’t change overnight, that we need to take baby steps to being a smarter city with low-cost, practical projects. I was really impressed with some straightforward, not very costly ideas that people would like us to implement over the next few years.”
With cities getting larger, facing tougher economic and environmental pressures than ever before this type of idea generation is setting the tone and direction for using what resources are available in an efficient manner. Directing those resources towards the things that people really need to attract inward investment, improve employment prospects, personal security and quality of life.
You may think that this type of interaction with residents would restrict the participation of some groups in older age groups, far from it. 28% of those that declared their age group we over 50.
IBM will continue to analyse the data and unearth valuable insight that will inform Coventry’s Sustainable Community Strategy. As Reeves pointed out, this is just the start:
“The CovJam represents the start of a new open and honest dialogue between the City Council and its residents. We’re willing to take risks and be innovative in order to build closer, more dynamic relationships with all our stakeholders.”
The first idea – to guide tourists from the railway station to the city centre - is already being put into action and more will feature in future planning initiatives.
Press release available